As I prepared recently for a Galatians sermon I came to some oft sited verses, especially during the Advent season.
Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
When reading and teaching on this passage my usual focus has been on the planned and purposeful first Advent of Christ as He was “born of a woman”, closely followed with the adjoining purpose phrase- “to redeem those who were under the law.” Christ was sent to redeem us. Hallelujah for sure! Admittedly I spend much of my teaching and preaching energy emphasizing this glorious purpose of God sending Jesus- to redeem us from our sins. Certainly I am not apologizing for speaking so regularly on redemption, the very heart of the Good News. It is right for us to bask in redemption. It is proper for us to worship God with a vigorous emphasis on Christ’s atoning death for our sins. Christ our substitute has bought us with His own life’s blood, we are free from the power and penalty of our sin-may we ever be faithful to meditate on this glorious reality of redemption.
But as I studied this passage recently I was struck with an inextricably linked secondary purpose for God sending Christ. Notice the last part of verse 5 once again-
Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
Wow. Do you see it? We have been redeemed from the bondage and penalty of sin and to the status of sons and daughters of the King of the Universe!! We are not orphans. We belong to God our Father!! We are the children of God because of redemption! In this light, our primary identity isn’t what we do for a living, what we spend most of our daytime hours engaged in or thinking about, or some hobby we treasure, instead our primary identity is child of God through Christ!! So now, in Christ, as adopted sons and daughters of God, everything God calls us to in this life must be seen through the lens of our adoption. Talk about purpose in life! I hope this encourages you wherever you find yourself in life today, no matter what’s going on. In Jesus Christ, you are God’s beloved child. You are joined together with Christ and His inheritance has become yours. There are manifold blessings that flow to us through our elder brother, Christ, not the least of which is eventual resurrection from the dead and eternal life together with our Father in Heaven (1 Corinthians 15). Praise God for our adoption!With John I praise God saying- See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are (1 John 3:1). We are not slaves or orphans my brothers and sisters- we are children of the living God through Christ.